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Avalanche Free Agency

Josh Manson Back With Avalanche, Helm Too



Josh Manson
David Zalubowski/AP

Well, I just got a nice text from a good source: Josh Manson has re-signed with the Colorado Avalanche. It’s incredible how fast breaking news becomes…old in today’s Twitter world. I thought I had an exclusive, but some others must have gotten the same text – and no, it wasn’t from the team.

But the news is true: Josh Manson, back on a long-term deal. And it came in cheaper than I expected too: four years, $4.5 million cap hit. That’s a great signing right there.

By the way, Darren Helm was also just re-signed: one year, $1.25 million. Same deal as Andrew Cogliano. That Avalanche fourth line is going to be a force again this coming season.

The day is not over yet friends. The Avalanche cap space is being eaten up pretty quickly, and there is still Nazem Kadri to consider. I reported earlier that the sides were still talking, but don’t know which way this is going to go.

The fact that the Avalanche is still working on it is a good sign, or usually is anyway. We haven’t mentioned Nico Sturm by the way. It would seem like he’s leaving, along with Andre Burakovsky, but nothing’s done til it’s done.

But, for me, the Manson signing is big. He made a real difference on the blue line and the Avalanche need that physical element to stay a top team. They’ve got it for the next four years with Manson, at a relatively nice cost of $18 million.

From the Avs’ release:

Manson, 30, recorded seven points (2g/5a) in 22 games with the Avalanche after being acquired from Anaheim on March 14. His 63 hits following the trade almost doubled the next closest teammate during that time span, and he tied his single-game career high with 10 hits in his Avalanche debut on March 15 at Los Angeles. Manson combined for 16 points (6g/10a) in 67 contests with Colorado and the Ducks, with his six combined goals the second most of his career (seven in 2017-18).

Superstreak Bonus!

In the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Manson tallied career highs in goals (3), assists (5) and points (8), ranking third among Avalanche defensemen in goals and fourth in points. He scored the overtime winner for his first career playoff goal in Game 1 of Colorado’s second-round series vs. St. Louis on May 17.

“Josh was a huge addition to our back end down the stretch and into the playoffs,” said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland.  “He played big minutes on our second pairing throughout the postseason, providing a tough, steady presence in the defensive zone while also contributing on the offensive end with some key goals. Getting him under contract for the next four years helps further solidify our blue line.”

Selected by Anaheim in the sixth round (160th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Manson has totaled 120 points (28g/92a) in 475 career contests with the Avs and Ducks. He has appeared in 42 total Stanley Cup Playoff contests, recording 11 points (3g/8a), helping Anaheim reach the Western Conference Final in 2017 and the Avalanche capture the 2022 Stanley Cup championship.

Manson left Anaheim ranked fifth all-time among franchise defensemen in games played (453) and third in plus/minus rating (+39), while his 87 assists and 113 points are ninth all-time among Anaheim blueliners. The Hinsdale, Ill., native is Anaheim’s franchise leader among defensemen in hits (1,083) and ranks second among all Ducks skaters — only Ryan Getzlaf (1,980) has more.

Manson posted the second-best plus/minus rating in franchise history with a +34 in 2017-18, trailing only Paul Kariya’s +36 rating from 1996-97, while also establishing career highs in points (37), goals (7), game-winning goals (2), assists (30) and blocked shots (99).

Manson played parts of two seasons with the Norfolk Admirals in the American Hockey League from 2013-15, totaling 13 points (4g/9a) in 45 contests while adding one point (1g/0a) in 10 Calder Cup Playoff outings.

Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound blueliner played three seasons at Northeastern University from 2011-14, collecting 21 points (6g/15a) with a +12 rating in 99 contests. He was named a Hockey East Second-Team All-Star and the league’s Best Defensive Defenseman after captaining Northeastern to a 19-14-4 record in 2013-14.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Leaves about $9m now. Gotta get Lehky done now please??


Lehky’s a RFA he’s not going anywhere – more concerned about the 2nd line center – who do we get to replace Naz if he walks


Lehky stills needs a deal. As far as I know he did not get a qualifying offer this week. I’m not sure why he is different from other RFAs…

Anyway, his QO would be $2.3m. I’m sure he realizes he’s worth more than that and will demand it.

Karl Keen

I’m with you, totally confused on the RFA thing, but he is signed, sealed and delivered now!

Bob Neal

Somebody needs to explain this UFA, RFA topic in more detail for me. They have Lehky signed for next year but he can sign with someone else starting when? He is certainly someone that they need to hang onto.

Matt Briggle

Lehky was a restricted free agent (RFA) which means that he can only sign with his current team unless he accepts an offer sheet from another team, but there would be compensation required if his current team does not match. He was given his qualifying offer last week and if the extension was not completed he would have the choice of playing for the qualifying offer and becoming a UFA next year or taking it to arbitration and living with that decision for a season before becoming a UFA. As a UFA you are allowed to sign a contract with… Read more »

Matt Briggle

He was given his qualifying offer last week which is why the Avs still maintain some level of control.

Donald Victory

ic. Well trade Girard and more frees up.

Cal G

Great news! I’m surprised that he signed so low!


Great to sign Manson, also makes losing Helleson a lot less painful. Totally worth it now!!

Ari Gould

Incredible. Is there enough space to get both Lehky and Naz? If not, get Lehky, and use remainder for a less-expensive option to replace Naz. Trade Sammy G and use his cap hit for another 2nd line center. Well done, Joe and Chris…. almost there for a dynasty run…. after Mac signs LTD, of course.


Very much needed and a real physical force on defense. Sure, he’s going to make some mistakes but all defensemen do. Excellent signing. I echo posters’ comment about a 2nd line center. I’m pretty sure that Kadri is gone. Dylan Strome makes a lot of sense and he’s young. The Blackhawks are destroying their team and get in on the good while they continue their foolish moves. DeBrincat shipped out for little return. The Hawks are following Montreal’s plan – – move young, rock solid players for little return. All betting on the come. Hats off to Ottawa who has… Read more »


Crazy about Ottawa, yeah? Saw they picked up Giroux too.

Karl Keen

The issue with Strome that I’ve read and heard on NHL radio is he is a poor skater. For that reason, I’m not sure the Avs want to slow their team down.

With that said and totally contradicting myself, what about Paul Stastny on a one year deal for league minimum?


ESPN reporting Strome to the Ducks.

Jared Moss

Anyone else already miss reading general manager Joe sakic… 🙁 lol

Donald Victory

All we need to do now is trade Yan, free up the cap a bit more, and plenty of good players out there to round out the roster. Have to get OscarO and Meyer some playing time to develop too. Is LOC on a two-way? Also would not mind a JT swap as well!


Great news!!!

Reading the rumors of “Manson back to the Ducks” readied me for a letdown…

Our defense is going to be stout!

Maybe Kadri has the same team-friendly feels as Manson? And if not, I feel much better plugging the 2C with someone less than #91 in front of this defense.

Last edited 4 months ago by slowpokeczech
Robert Eriksson

Absolutely great news! We sure needed some size at the back end.
Already looking forward to the next regular season brawl, when Mans and the Derminator are on the ice for the Avalanche. Maybe in St. Louis, so that Landy can beat up Schenn again, in his own barn…… 🙂

Karl Keen

Dater, you were all over the Manson thing reporting for the last week that the Avs were still really interested. Kudos to you!

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